Many employees may start out as casuals, and may change to a permanent position after they have been with a business for some time. Switching your staff from casual to full time positions is a common scenario, and can occur when both the employer and employee consent to it.
In fact, due to recent changes in the law, a regular casual employee has the right to request a change to a permanent role after 6 or 12 months of service according to their award, with the employer only being able to refuse on reasonable grounds.
To follow the correct process for changing to full time or part time from casual, you will need to check any employment agreements such as enterprise agreements, and your employee’s modern award.
Here’s what you need to know about changing staff from casual to full time employees.
What Is The Model Casual Conversion Clause?
The Model Casual Conversion Clause is information found in your employee’s modern award. It sets out an employee’s right to request a change to permanent employment after working a set amount of minimum months as a casual with a certain pattern of hours.
For example, if a casual employee has worked a full time load for a year, they can request to change to full time employment. If their pattern of work more closely resembles a part time load, they can request to change to a part time role.
The Model Casual Conversion Clause is important as it helps set staff expectations while ensuring they know their rights. It also outlines the grounds on which an employer can refuse a change to a permanent role.
When Can You Refuse A Change From Casual To Permanent?
There are a few grounds on which you can refuse your employee’s request to change to permanent employment. These reasons might include:
- Changing to permanent employment would mean a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours
- It is reasonably foreseeable that the staff member’s position either won’t exist or will need to have reduced hours within 12 months time
- It is reasonably foreseeable that the hours you will need your staff to work won’t be suitable for permanent hours
What You Need To Do If You Are Employing Casual Staff
As an employer, you need to give all of your casual employees a copy of the Model Casual Conversion Clause within a year of your staff member starting work.
If they had been employed before the law changed, then you needed to have given them this information by 1 January 2019.
You also need to ensure your employment contracts are up to date to reflect the Model Casual Conversion Clause.
What Is A Casual Employment Information Statement?
The Fair Work Ombudsman has introduced a document called the Casual Employment Information Statement, or CEIS, which is a document that sets out the rights of casual employees.
It’s similar to the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) you’re required to give all staff, but the CEIS is specific to casual staff. You need to give casual staff both the FWIS and the CEIS.
The CEIS includes information about:
- the definition of a casual employee
- when an employer has to offer casual conversion
- when an employer doesn’t have to offer casual conversion
- when a casual employee can request casual conversion
- casual conversion entitlements of casual employees employed by small business employers
- how the Fair Work Commission can act in dealing with disputes about casual conversion
How Do I Give The CEIS To My Staff?
The law prescribes several ways you can give a copy of the CEIS to your staff, including:
- in person
- by mail
- by email
- by emailing a link to this page of our website
- by emailing a link to a copy of the CEIS available on the employer’s intranet
- by fax
It’s good practice to keep a record on your system of who has received a CEIS and when, so that you can be sure that you’ve complying.
Can I Refuse Requests For Casual Conversion?
Yes – this is set out in section 66H of the Fair Work Act.
Similar to the grounds for not making an offer, an employer may refuse a request for casual conversion if there are reasonable grounds to refuse the request.
A similar list of examples is set out in section 66H, and the reasons must be provided to the employee.
Speak With An Employment Lawyer
If you need help with understanding your obligations as an employer, or need assistance updating your employment contracts, feel free to reach out to us for a free consult on 1800 730 617 or at email@example.com.
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